I can’t say I’m over the death of MCA. If pop culture is religion (and it is), Beastie Boys are my denomination because their work represents all the best expressions of writing, instrumentation, production, performance, promotion, artwork, and video … and this is to say nothing of their span of punk, hip hop and jazz.
I cried when I heard about MCA and again when jazz/funk legend Karl Denson said this at his Beastie Boys tribute show a week later:
This music will never be played in its pure, organic state again so this show is just our way of showing proper respect for the Beastie Boys, who are some of the baddest motherfuckers of all time.
Today Rolling Stone published interviews with Ad Rock and Mike D, their first public remarks since MCA died of cancer on May 4. One excerpt in particular from Ad Rock’s interview jumped out:
When the shit hit the fan, after Licensed to Ill, we started having arguments: “I wrote 37 percent of this song.” “These 16 lines are mine.” We decided none of that mattered. From that day on, everything was split three ways. Whatever it was, whoever did what, we all got the credit. Except we had veto power. If you really hated something, you could be, “That can’t happen.”
What followed that decision was a decision to move to LA. While there, they made Paul’s Boutique and Check Your Head, which I’ve been listening to since May 4. These are albums I’ve heard hundreds (if not thousands) of times but in the wake of MCA’s death, the thing I’ve been thinking about most is how inextricably linked The Three are.
On and off in my life I’ve had creative and business partners where we sync up on that higher level, and there’s nothing more fun and rewarding. To have maintained that over most of their lives is a connection that transcends mere pop culture. It’s a belief system and a way of life.
So in case you missed it, below are the Rolling Stone links to what MCA’s surviving bandmates have said so far.
First Interviews After MCA’s Death:
– Ad Rock Interview